The IFC Irish horror comedy “Grabbers”, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, has been released in selected US movie theaters, on cable VOD, and online.
The movie was shot by Irish director, Jon Wright, and stars Ruth Bradley alongside an ensemble Irish cast.
Set in an idyllic fishing village on “Erin Island” (see Inis Mor, of the Aran Islands), the movies tells the tale of work-shy police officer Ciaran O’Shea who tasked with greeting Lisa Nolan, a straight-laced young officer who has arrived from the mainland.
Of course strange doings are afoot: the crew of a fishing boat disappears, whales start appearing dead on the shore, a local lobsterman catches a strange tentacled creature in his trap. Soon it becomes clear to O’Shea and Nolan that there’s something big out there, and that it’s hungry. It’s time to rally the villagers, arm the troops…and head to the pub.
The Irish-born screenwriter Kevin Lehane wrote “Grabbers” in 2007. The inspiration came to him whilst backpacking around the world the previous year. “While I was away travelling I kept getting bitten by mosquitoes and everyone gave me the advice to eat lots of Marmite, because the Vitamin B makes you - what I guess you’d call - ‘inedible’ to mosquitoes. I thought that was kind of fascinating, so I made a note of it.
“I continued on my travels, weeks passed and I was still being savaged and bitten every night, then one night while I was having a beer on a veranda on the Cook Islands I noticed a mosquito on my knuckle and I made one of those drunken jokes about hoping the mosquito got as drunk as me and flew into a wall and killed itself. That was it, the two things fused together and I made a note in my journal the next morning: ‘Get drunk to survive!’”
As far as influences from other films are concerned, Lehane admits that Tremors was something of an inspiration with regard to tone, “Being sincere about the story and focusing on the characters and the charm of them and the place was a big influence, as were films like Gremlins and Jaws. But Tremors really was the benchmark film that I kept going back to, just the structure of it, the tone of it, the emphasis on characters, and the monsters bringing out the best of those characters. Then I think Jon (Wright, Grabbers director) really brought in the John Carpenter style elements and that made it quite atmospheric and cool”.
“I’ve never seen any sort of film like that come out of Ireland and when I sat down to write it, I just specifically wanted to write something that I would go and see myself” explains Lehane, “I actually asked myself, would you go and watch this on a Friday night first weekend that it’s out, even if it’s raining? My answer was ‘yeah I would’”.
"Grabbers" is available from Friday, July 19, in select theaters, on cable VOD, iTunes, SundanceNow and other digital outlets (Amazon Streaming, PS3 Playstation Unlimited, XBOX Zune, Google PLAY and YouTube).
Here’s the trailer: